Augustus Gordon Weissert, a representative soldier of the Volunteer forces and a prominent member of the Milwaukee Bar, was born Aug. 7, 1844, at Canton, Stark Co., Ohio. When he was six years old his parents removed to Racine, Wis., where he obtained a good elementary education and was graduated from the high school. Later, he pursued a general course of study at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and afterwards entered the Law Department whence he was graduated with a degree of LL. B.
He resided at Racine until he went to New York to continue his studies, the year previous to entering the army, and was but little more than a lad when he became a soldier. At 17 he enlisted in Co. K, 8th Wisconsin Infantry, enrolling Sept. 10, 1861, having been several times theretofore rejected on account of his age and stature. The “Eagle” Regiment, organized September 4th at the rendezvous at Camp Randall, Madison, was mustered into U.S. Service on the 12th and left the State October 12th, being the first Wisconsin Regiment to receive orders for the West.
After a few days passed at Benton Barracks, St. Louis, orders were received to move to Pilot Knob and, on the 20th, the 8th was assigned to the command of Col. Carlin and on the next day young Weissert had the satisfaction of participating in a victory at Fredericktown, Mo. He performed military duty at Pilot Knob, and went later on an expedition up the St. Francis River.
The next removal to Sulphur Springs took place Oct. 25th, and in January orders were received to join Gen. Grants Forces at Cairo for the Fort Donaldson campaign. Until March the time passed there, the regiment being in grey uniform and in practical retirement in consequence. When equipped in regulation blue, the command made connection with the forces of General Pope.
Mr. Weissert was made Sergeant Major and later was made Captain by brevet to rank from June 6th, 1864, his commission having been granted “for conspicuous bravery during the Red River expedition and for gallantry at Lake Chicot, June 6th, 1864, and at Nashville, Dec. 16th, 1864.” In latter action he was severely wounded by a sharpshooter, receiving a ball in his left leg.
The circumstances under which his wound was received are as follows: when the army was in line of of battle at Nashville, Sergeant Major Weissert traversed the lines to ascertain whether his regiment was properly supplied with ammunition, and when the duty was completed, he received orders from Col. Britton, the commander of the 8th, to remain with headquarters at the rear to make up the regimental returns, then 15 days behind, on account of the constant campaigning of the regiment.
About the same moment the order to advance was given and when the Colonel chanced some time later, to go along the line, he found Sergeant Major Weissert in his position with the regiment. He reminded him of his Order and received the following reply: “I deemed this my place and thought I would go with the regiment and finish the reports after the battle.” Soon after he was with the advance of the line which opened the battle of Nashville, on the extreme right Dec. 15th, 1864. About two in the afternoon he was wounded as stated. He was carried to the rear and sent from the field hospital to New Albany, Ind. When able, he was moved moved to Wisconsin under special requisition from the Governor of Wisconsin.
Commander Weissert was appointed to a cadetship at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, but having been unable to accept the appointment on account of wounds received in the battle, declined the same. He suffered much from the wound, it never having healed and the bullet still remains in the leg.
Commander Weissert is the son of Michael Weissert and Magdalene Bernard, a daughter of France who came to this country in her childhood. He was married Nov. 24, 1869, to Mary E. Trautwin and their only surviving child was Florence E., a son, George, having drowned at 15 years of age.
He continued his law studies and was admitted to practice in the circuit courts of Wisconsin in 1869. The next year he was admitted to practice before the higher courts of the state and the U. S. Supreme Court. He received several civil appointments and served the Milwaukee School Board for two terms.
He joined the G.A.R. in 1866 and served in several high offices through the 1880’s. He was Commander of the Department of Wisconsin, 1888-1889 and Senior vice-commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, 1892-93. He also served on the commission establishing the military park at Vicksburg.
He passed away April 24, 1923.
From Soldiers and Citizens Album of Biographical Record, Grand Army Publishing Co., 1890